Question: Do you prefer popcorn as a tasty snack—or as a tasteless ceiling finish?

That’s what I thought. Sprayed-texture ceilings, commonly called popcorn or cottage cheese ceilings, were popular from the ’50s through the ’80s because they were a cheap and easy way to cover ceiling defects.

But I call them a crime against good design. Popcorn ceilings look so dreary and outdated that they can totally take down an otherwise attractive room.

Remember, the ceiling sets the stage for your room and its decor. It’s the largest expanse of space in any room, and the perfect canvas for your personal sense of style—which I’m pretty sure is not popcorn or cottage cheese blasted overhead.

The good news is that help is out there. Here are three ways to remedy the aesthetic abomination known as a popcorn ceiling.

1. Stubborn denial.

Insist that spray-on ceilings, like spray-on tans, will never go completely out of style because what they lack in subtlety, they make up for in camouflage. If that doesn’t work, call it “a humble homage to mid-century modern design,” but be prepared for push-back. 

2. Take down by force.

Got burly friends with time on their hands? Engage them in the ceiling wars. Arm them with yards of plastic sheeting, tarps, heavy-duty scrapers, powerful fans and steamers to get the job done. Before you wage war, it’s safest to have a professional test for asbestos before tear-down, especially if your home was built before 1979. Your ceiling scrape-down event will go down in history. Actually, it could be the last time the gang gets together.

3. A quick cover up.

No need to scrape or tear down that tasteless popcorn ceiling—now you can simply cover it with great-looking ceiling tiles or planks. Less drama, I know—but pretty cool.

Visit most any home improvement store and you’ll be amazed by all the ceiling replacement options. I’ve had great results covering up popcorn ceilings using Armstrong’s Easy Up installation system.

It’s simple enough for DIY beginners, and infinitely faster (and less messy) than scraping down a popcorn ceiling before replacing it. See for yourself.

The system includes metal tracks, which you install right over the popcorn ceiling using basic tools, and snap-on clips to hold the new tiles or planks in place. A cordless drill is all you need to install the system directly over your old ceiling. It’s an easy, three-step process:

  • Attach metal tracks to popcorn ceiling
  • Snap the clips on the tracks
  • Put new ceiling tiles or planks in place and secure with clips

The hard part? Deciding on a style. There’s so much to choose from, and every material or style does something different for your room. For example, you can create a contemporary and casual vibe with classic wood-look planks. They come in a clean white finish, and can also be painted or stained to match your palette.

Ready to replace that ceiling now? You can streamline the process using Lowe’s special express order for select products. In about seven days or less, you’ll have everything you need to transform your ceiling.

So, ready to admit that the popcorn has got to go? Prepared to call off the ceiling scrape-down event? Before you head to the store go to to determine how much ceiling and installation material you might need.

With all of the amazing new materials and techniques now available, homeowners have, er, higher standards for ceilings today. And I think that’s a good thing. Because popcorn is best enjoyed as a snack, not on your ceiling.